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10 Reasons to Visit Alaska in Winter

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It’s a brisk and breezy Faraway Friday! This week I’ve been whisking you off with me to America’s “Final Frontier” and 49th state: Alaska! I’ve shared my experiences there in 2007 this week, so I thought I’d give you a quick run-down of the amazing reasons why you should consider a visit this winter season!

10. To Sleep In

Winter days in Alaska are short, and that means the nights are long! That’s the perfect time to see the Northern Lights, but also the perfect excuse to sleep in. When the sun doesn’t come up until 10:00am and goes back down before 4:00pm, why should you fight nature?

9. To Snuggle with a Bear

I came across a new friend in Anchorage. Because where else can you do this:

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My new bear friend–I think he likes me!

8. To Walk on Water

The Alaskan winters are so cold for so long, the lakes and rivers freeze solid and don’t thaw until spring! We camped on top of a lake while I was there, and we not only walked on the icy, snow-covered lake, we got there on cross-country skis!

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Glacier field!

7. To Marvel at the Mountains

“Purple mountains majesty” took on a whole new meaning in Alaska. I’d never seen mountains so big and beautiful, with more than just the tops covered in snow. And with the limited daylight, they really did look purple most of the time. Take a look:

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Alaskan Mountains

6. To Go Cold-weather Camping

Never in my first 22 years of life did I ever think I would go camping in the snow. But I did, and it was awesome! Not only was it a challenge that I conquered, it was also a true adventure. Be sure to bring a few days’ provisions!

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Tent on the Lake

5. For the Skiing

It’s true, I learned how to ski in the Alaskan wilderness, in the dark. And it was incredible! Step by step, stride by stride, it was an exciting thing to do (with people who knew what they were actually doing). Don’t worry, there are pictures:

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Down, but not out!
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I’m doing it!

4. To Explore Natural Ice Caves

Caves are cool, but ice caves are cooler! Being inside one was quiet, incredibly blue, and unlike anything I’d done or seen before. And check out the fashionable footwear:

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Going in deep!

3. To See the Sunrise over Mount Pioneer

This was my view almost every morning I was in Alaska. How’s that for a good morning? Because the sun is only out for a few hours each day in the winter, the sunrise is pretty special. The mountains are stunning at all times of day, but those first rays coming out one the mountains each morning make them almost unbelievable.

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Sunrise over Mount Pioneer

2. To Climb a Glacier

Because where else can you do this? Not many places in the world! This is one that no one else had ever climbed before us. We had to get there by two-seater plane, and I even got to do a little flying to get there! The challenges of climbing a glacier are different than climbing a cliff, so I recommend both! But I have to say, this one gave the most beautiful views.

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Going up!

1. To Literally Walk in a Winter Wonderland

When in the Alaskan wilderness, go hiking. It’s a true winter wonderland. This waterfall, Thunderbird Falls, was frozen and yet still flowing beneath the surface! The mist it created at the bottom froze right in midair. It was stunning!

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Thunderbird Falls

Are you ready or your own Alaskan Adventure yet? What are you waiting for? Make it happen!

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